Leinster captain Leo Cullen is to coach the province's forwards next season.

The 35-year-old is expected to announce his retirement at the end of this campaign, before he takes over from current coach Jono Gibbes, who is moving to French side ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Speaking to 98FM, Leinster boss Matt O'Connor described the move into coaching as a "natural progression" for Cullen.

"Leo’s been an unbelievable leader for the organisation on and off the field," said O'Connor.

"Given that Jono is moving off to Clermont, I thought it was the natural progression for Leo.

"He’s got all that knowledge, he understands what’s required at the very top level and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

“You don’t have to talk to people for too long to understand whether they’ll be able to do it or not. Leo’s demonstrated that he’s certainly got the knowledge.

"When you sit down and have a conversation with him, his genuine excitement and the student of the game that he is, you know he will thrive in the environment."